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What to read in 2017

By Palash Krishna Mehrotra

Is any year a good year for books? Despite doomsday predictions, the book is alive and kicking. Here’s a list of titles to look out for in 2017, from all God’s publishers, big and small.

The God of Small Things came out in my last year of college in 1997. Two decades later, as I sit perched on the cusp of middle-age, Arundhati Roy returns with her new novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Has she changed; have we changed? We shall find out soon.

Among other novels from Penguin Random House India, there’s Nadeem Aslam’s The Golden Legend, set in contemporary Pakistan; Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West,a love story set against the backdrop of the international refugee crisis; and Perumal Murugan’s Seasons of the Palm, the story of a young untouchable farmhand. In his novel, Friend of My Youth, a meditation on the passage of time, Amit Chaudhuri treads the fine line between fiction and non-fiction and emerges with a sensitive commemoration of Bombay and an unusual friendship. Read more

Source: DailyO


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Has publishing really become more diverse?

By Danuta Kean

Courttia Newland has been here before. In 1997, it seemed as if the British book industry might finally have recognised it was out of step with the multicultural society that surrounded it. Writers of colour including Newland, Zadie Smith and Monica Ali were picking up sizable advances as the trade promised a step change. No longer would the doors of London publishers be time machines, transporting the unwary from one of the world’s most diverse cities to a monoculture that was a throwback to the 1950s. The books and the people who published them were going to be different.

Twenty years on, as the industry launches another drive for inclusivity, Newland is not holding his breath. “We are really wary because we have seen it all before,” he says. “A few people are championed and then people lose interest because they think the issue has been addressed. And then it all reverts back to the way it was before.” Read more

Source: The Guardian 

 


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New Release: Thing to Leave Behind by Namita Gokhale

leave-behindThings to Leave Behind follows the intertwined story of spirited Tilottama Uprety, whose uncle is hanged during the ‘Mutiny’, her troubled daughter, Deoki, missionary Rosemary Boden and Deoki’s husband, Jayesh Jonas, into Boden’s utopian Eden Ashram where artist William Dempster seeks out new Indias. At its heart lies one singular painting: a portrait of love, longing and courage.

Set in the years 1840 to 1912, Things to Leave Behind chronicles the mixed legacy of the British Indian past and the emergence of a fragile modernity. The book is published by Penguin.

Illuminated with painstaking detail, told with characteristic narrative skill, this compelling historical novel—the final one in the Himalayan trilogy, after A Himalayan Love Story and The Book of Shadows—is Namita Gokhale’s most ambitious work yet.

About the Author

Namita Gokhale has authored thirteen books—seven works of fiction and six works of non-fiction. She is founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, and the Bhutan literary festival, Mountain Echoes.

 


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Penguin unfolds ‘Season of Stories’

By Rituparna Mahapatra

Storytelling could have never been more interesting. The brilliant minds at Penguin have come up with a novel idea to sprinkle our lives and emails with a pixie dust of interesting tales.The stressful office emails can take a back seat

Their goal is to make your inbox a better , happier place- one story at a time.

Beginning October 11th, till December , they will email eleven fiction stories directly to you. All you have to do is sign up for it, which is very simple. You just have to provide your email id. You’ll receive a fragment of a story, one day at a time , till the full narrative wraps up just before the weekend. The stories are free and are exclusively available only on emails. If you have registered late , not a problem ; they provide you with a catch-up link, with a note : The catch-up link will expire every Saturday at midnight EST. From then on, the story will live only in your memory (and in your email).

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Reading the world

Penguin Random House’s CEO is excited to bring foreign titles to China and Chinese literature to the globe. Mei Jia reports.

Markus Dohle knew he has “the best job in the world” when Dan Brown knocked on his office door in 2008.

The CEO of the world’s largest trade-book publisher, Penguin Random House, was then CEO of Random House. It was five years before the two groups merged when the best-selling writer popped in to meet Dohle. Read more


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Sanjiv Gupta appointed COO Penguin Random House in India

CEO Gaurav Shrinagesh today announced the appointment of Sanjiv Gupta as Chief Operating Officer for Penguin Random House in India.  Currently the company’s Senior VP Finance and Operations, Sanjiv will continue to have strategic and operational responsibility of finance, operations, IT and administrative departments as well as expanding his role to drive business growth and profitability.

Sanjiv joined Penguin Books India in 2011 and has worked for over two decades across a spectrum of industries including automobiles, aerospace, electronics, business process outsourcing, agriculture, and real estate. Before his career with Penguin, he led operations in India for Masonite Doors and has previously worked with Hines India Real Estate, the Bharti Group, Honeywell International and Honda Cars, in various roles.

 

 

 


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Penguin Random House partners with Twitter Books India: #twolittlebirds

Furthering its commitment to connecting its authors with the widest possible audience, Penguin Random House in India this evening partnered with Twitter India to announce the introduction of their Twitter Books vertical in the country.

At their party at the Jaipur Literature Festival, Penguin Random House became the first publisher in the region to be verified by Twitter on their @penguinbooksindia handle.  A number of Penguin Random House authors, including Shobhaa De, Amitav Ghosh, Ravinder Singh, Durjoy Datta, Mohammed Hanif, Devdutt Pattanaik, Bibek Debroy and KR Meera have also become the first authors to be verified within the new books vertical. Meru Gokhale, Editor-in-Chief, Literary Publishing, has been the first publisher to be verified.

Through the Twitter Books vertical, Penguin Random House will work closely with its writers to maximise the opportunities the platform presents, both in terms of written content and video through Vine and Periscope, to engage in even more real-time conversations with readers, and potential readers.

Penguin Random House will not only use the platform to expand its writers’, existing reach but also introduce new authors to the medium.  This evening India’s most loved author Ruskin Bond joined twitter under the verified Twitter handle @RealRuskinBond. His first Tweet read: “Hello World. Delighted to be on Twitter”

“Authors and readers are at the heart of everything we do at Penguin Random House, and we are dedicated to helping the two connect as easily and directly as possible,” said Gaurav Shrinagesh, CEO Penguin Random House India.  “In an increasingly digital world, the online space has fast become the most effective way of discovering books and authors.  We already have the largest digital footprint and engaged social media communities in the region but are delighted to now be working with Twitter India and their new books vertical to broaden this audience further.”

 


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Penguin Books India acquires major new work by Ramachandra Guha

ramchandra guhaPenguin Random House has announced the acquisition of Democrats and Dissenters, a major new collection of essays by Ramachandra Guha.  This is a work of rigorous scholarship on topics of compelling contemporary interest, written with elegance and wit. Each essay takes up an important topic, or an influential intellectual, as a window to explore major political and cultural debates in India and the world.

The book covers a wide range of themes: from the varying national projects of India’s neighbours to political debates within India itself, from the responsibilities of writers to the complex relationship between democracy and violence. It has essays critically assessing the work of Amartya Sen and Eric Hobsbawm, essays on the tragic predicament of tribals in India (who are, as Guha demonstrates, far worse off than Dalits or Muslims, yet get a fraction of the attention), and on the peculiar absence of a tradition of conservative intellectuals in India. Continue reading


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Excecutive Movements: Nandan Jha appointed VP Product and Sales, Penguin Random House India

Penguin Random House India CEO Gaurav Shrinagesh has announced the appointment of Nandan Jha as VP Product and Sales for Penguin Random House in India.  Former Senior VP Sales Ananth Padmanabhan is leaving Penguin Random House to head HarperCollins India as its new CEO. Padmanabhan replaces P M Sukumar at HarperCollins India who had recently resigned.

Jha, who fulfilled the same role at Random House India prior to the merger with Penguin in 2013, will be responsible for all sales and product development across the company.  He will take up his new position with immediate effect. Continue reading


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Neel Mukherjee’s The Lives of Others wins the Encore Award for the Best Second Novel in the UK

the-lives-of-othersPenguin Random House India has announced that Neel Mukherjee’s The Lives of Others has won the Encore Award for the Best Second Novel in the UK.

Alex Clark, Chair of the Encore Judges said: ‘We were immensely impressed by the ambition and depth of Neel Mukherjee’s second novel, in which a suburban house in 1960s Calcutta comes to reflect the political and social convulsions of an entire society. Ranging from the mass hunger of the Second World War to independence and the emergence of the Maoist Naxalbari movement, Mukherjee chronicles these extraordinary years in Indian history through the piercingly observed story of one family. As we read further into the story of the Ghoshes – their lives thrown into crisis by an absconding activist son – we became increasingly convinced of the book’s immense qualities and its ability to inform and provoke at the same time as it entertains. We are excited to see what Mukherjee will produce next, and hope very much that the Encore Award will encourage him in his writing life.’.

On being presented with his Award, Neel Mukherjee said: ‘The Encore Award is the coolest and the most original literary prize in town. It is a burst of light in what is usually considered to be dark, damp, bleak territory — the dreaded second novel. I’m thrilled by my good fortune and, looking at the list of past winners, both humbled and deeply honoured.’

http://www.encoreaward.com/